The Water Splashing Festival is the most ceremonious traditional festival of the Dai people, one of the minorities of China, because it is the New Year in the Dai calendar.
It usually takes place in the middle of April of the Gregorian calendar, often ten days before or after the Tomb-sweeping Day, and lasts three to seven days.
In this festival, the Dai People dress up regardless age and sex. They shoulder clean water to the nearby Buddhist Temple to bathe the Buddha, and then begin to splash water at one another to wish for luck, happiness and health.
This is the days to be wet. The more water one person is splashed with, the more luck he/she receives, and the happier he/she will be.
Dai People also invite people from other ethnic minorities and tourists to join them. You may get extra wet because you are a guest. They show their hospitality with the water during this period of time.
The scene of water splashing and spraying is really jollifying, and when getting excited, people will burst out the hurrah like "shui (water), shui he shui."
To fetch water is part of the ceremony
Besides water splashing, there are a lot of other conventions in the Festival:
People also decorate their own residence ceremoniously during this time. Various paper cuttings are posted on doorframes and windows. At the main streets of the town, archways are decorated. There is usually a golden peacock on the top of each archway because peacock symbolizes happiness and good luck.
A mural by Yuan Yunsheng
In the eye of the Dai People, water is a symbol of sanctity, beauty and brightness. Only water can help everything on the earth grow. To them, water means life.
Dai people mostly live in Yunnan province. You may experience their culture in Kunming and other places.
Participating in the Water Splashing Festival may be included in Kunming Vacation Packages and Hotel Deals.
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